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= a Dutch “collective and laboratory for investigation, imagination and storytelling.” Based in Amsterdam, Monnik’s work “concentrates on how persons and society need to reconfigure or reassess their relationship with their self-constructed modern world.”



David Bollier:

"Monnik is currently engaged in a series of interviews with international thinkers in various disciplines, and “people-on-the-ground” who are trying to deal with “the everyday reality of growth, and non-growth, in our society.” The group hopes to develop some scenarios on how post-growth circumstances would change the urban environment, and publish the results in The Still City Scenario Machine.

I spoke with Edwin Gardner of Monnik a few weeks ago, who explained to me that Still City is interested in the commons because it seems to lie “at the core of both an inclusive as well as a sustainable society.” He and his colleagues see the commons as providing “an alternative narrative and imagination to the dominant discourse on property and prosperity” -- a theme of obvious interest to Still City.

You can get an idea of what Monnik is investigating through its case study/workshop on the Still City that it held in Tokyo in November 2012. The group brought together 26 urban explorers – "writers, artists, designers, architects, scholars, free-thinkers and urbanologists” – to roam Tokyo “in search of latent values, behaviors and practices that may foreshadow a Still World. Spanning eleven days, the workshop incorporated public lectures and presentations, explorations through tours, and intense discussion. With its zero-growth economy, aging population, and a neither growing or shrinking urban environment, Tokyo is an ideal site for an urban exploration into the phenomena of stillness.”

Among many other activities, participants watched a film about how “decentralization and cooperative societies will allow [Tokyo residents] to make our energy supplies sustainable faster than we ever imagined, often without subsidies and while making a profit.” An architect explained how “co-creation and the cultivation of bottom-up ideas from local residents could address the challenges that come with prolonged economic malaise.” People took a trip of “Haikyo hunting,” or the exploration of urban ruins, which has become a popular pastime for foreigners and Japanese alike." (

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